Rindge Select Board approves ARPA funding for Fire Department purchases

  • The Rindge Fire Department. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/26/2023 4:18:12 PM
Modified: 5/26/2023 4:17:54 PM

The Rindge Select Board has approved two uses of American Rescue Plan Act funds, both for the Fire Department.

During their Wednesday meeting, board members approved three additional in-vehicle routers to boost communications equipment for Fire Department vehicles and a internal inspection of the pump on Engine 2, using the grant funding distributed to towns as part of COVID-19 relief funding.

The board approved up to $20,200 for the pump inspection, though Director of Life Safety and Fire Chief Rick Donovan said the quote approved was for a worst-case scenario where the entirety of the pump had to be replaced.

Donovan said the town currently has a policy of inspecting the pumps when the trucks have reached about half of their expected useful life. While Donovan said he expects some parts to need replacement, he doesn’t anticipate needing to replace the entire pump.

The work had previously been proposed to be part of a warrant article to go before voters in March, but was removed from the warrant before articles were finalized, with the intention that the inspection and repairs would be paid for either through ARPA funding or a grant.

The board also approved three additional in-vehicle routers for fire department vehicles. The board had previously approved a single router for a vehicle using ARPA funding, for a cost of $975, but Donovan clarified that the cost was $975 per router, and that he was requesting a total of four.

In another expense related to the Fire Department, the board also approved the purchase of a new heating system for the department, using current department funds. The board considered two quotes for slightly different plans. One proposal, at an estimated $26,000, would install a more-powerful heating system, while the other, at $19,000, would replace the current system in-kind with a similar system.

The board asked Donovan whether there was a need for the stronger system. Donovan replied that the current system had sufficient power, and he would expect the new system to be even more efficient. Board agreed to replace the heating system in-kind, for a total cost of $19,472.

The board also discussed, but did not take any votes or action during Wednesday’s meeting, the future replacement of the department’s self-contained breathing apparatus tanks. The replacement of the tanks is another item that was initially proposed as a warrant article this year, but ultimately removed before the warrant was finalized to keep costs balanced. Donovan said he anticipated applying for grant funding next year to cover the cost of the tanks.

Donovan said the estimated cost of the tanks is about $170,000. The town has saved about $40,000 in a capital reserve for their eventual replacement.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172, Ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

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